The First Time I Took My Kids to a Convention

Image: Melissa Ford

Image: Melissa Ford

This weekend, I packed the kids in the car and we headed for Intervention, the Internet convention covering everything from gaming to comics to cosplay to WordPress. It required a lot of explanation. When we checked in at registration, my daughter asked why a woman was wearing a rubber horse head at one of the nearby tables.

Why?

“Because it’s fun?” didn’t cut it for my inquisitive nine-year-old. She wanted to figure this out: what makes people come together and bond over popular culture and paper airplanes and endless games of Xbox Kinect? I mean, yes, she understood the concept of fun, but this weekend was about driving home that idea of elevating fun by entering a state of “me too.” That enjoyment is exponentially increased by taking something fun on your own and doing it amongst like-minded people. That finding your tribe may take time and patience, but there is likely another group of people out there that share your interests and want to talk incessantly about the things that interest you most. Sometimes you find them on the Internet, but other times, that computer screen melts away and you end up in a hotel in Rockville, Maryland, making clay monsters for a monster rally.

I marked up the convention booklet, intending to get to GeekDad Matt Blum’s panels. But alas, once the kids saw the video gaming room and jumped into dancing in front of the Kinect with a mob of other kids, I couldn’t pry them away to listen to adults talk about online bullying. In future years, I’ll bring my husband so we can switch off allowing the twins to follow their bliss while still getting to attend the panel discussions taking place in the rooms around us.

Still, we had a great day playing Minecraft and Pac Man. Making feather-studded monsters (and an Enderman) for the Sharknado-inspired stop-action film. Learning how to fold a paper airplane (and racing them outside). Checking out the costumes. Meeting other geeky kids. And generally opening my twins’ eyes to worlds they never knew existed.

If you missed Intervention this year, have no fear. It will happen again, hopefully next August. Bookmark their website so you learn the date when they post it later in the year.

Do you take your kids with you to conventions — why or why not?

Melissa Ford

About Melissa Ford

Melissa Ford writes women's fiction, but she does it while wearing a Superman shirt. A geek to the core, she is also the author of the award-winning site, Stirrup Queens which the Wall Street Journal named one of the top ten motherhood blogs. You can find her in all sorts of places around the web including Facebook, Twitter, GoodReads, Google+, and Amazon. She completed her MFA at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She lives outside of Washington, D.C. with her writer husband, Joshua, and their twins.

Melissa Ford

About Melissa Ford

Melissa Ford writes women's fiction, but she does it while wearing a Superman shirt. A geek to the core, she is also the author of the award-winning site, Stirrup Queens which the Wall Street Journal named one of the top ten motherhood blogs. You can find her in all sorts of places around the web including Facebook, Twitter, GoodReads, Google+, and Amazon. She completed her MFA at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She lives outside of Washington, D.C. with her writer husband, Joshua, and their twins.

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